Ten men were charged with violating federal copyright laws as part of an investigation into online piracy of movies, games, software and music, federal prosecutors said.
The men from eight states were charged in San Jose as part of an investigation called Operation Copycat, the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said. The probe targeted "warez" groups -- the first sources for pirated entertainment distributed online.
The 10 men will be formally charged Feb. 22 with criminal copyright infringement and violating the federal No Electronic Theft Act. They could face three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each offense.